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Representing South Carolina District 41 ...

Senator Paul Thurmond is a Republican in the SC Senate and represents SC District 41 - Charleston & Dorchester Counties. Click here to contact Paul >

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IN THE NEWS

Live5news.com - July 12, 2015

Sen. Paul Thurmond speaks about healing at North Charleston church service

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Post and Courier - July 10, 2015

Confederate battle flag finds a new home among artifacts

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Post and Courier - July 10, 2015

Thousands witness to end of an era as Confederate flag comes down in South Carolina

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Salon.com - July 9, 2015

The one moment that changed everything in the Confederate flag debate: “This flag comes down today!”

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Post and Courier - July 9, 2015

Historic S.C. triumph: finally furling the flag

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The Washington Post - Jun 29, 2015

A Thurmond of the next generation seeks a new legacy in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. — What finally opened Paul Thurmond’s eyes and changed his heart was in the Gospel of Mark — the very New Testament passage that his state Senate colleague Clementa Pinckney and eight other members of Emanuel AME Church here were studying the night they were gunned down in an apparent racist hate crime.  

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The State - Jun 27, 2015

Thurmond: Time to come together to remove Confederate flag from SC State House grounds

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Post and Courier - Jun 23, 2015

Paul Thurmond calls for Confederate flag to come down

State Sen. Paul Thurmond on Tuesday became one of the first lawmakers to officially call for removing the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds. In a speech timed to shape the debate over calls to take down the flag, Paul Thurmond took to the podium and spoke for more than six minutes, calling the flag an emblem from a war that is long over and one that has been tied to racism.  Read more

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Post and Courier - Apr 30, 2015

Bill requiring body cameras for cops gets final Senate approval

COLUMBIA — A bill requiring police officers to wear body cameras got final approval from the Senate on Wednesday, heading to the House just weeks after a North Charleston cop was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Walter Scott. The bill passed 41-3 after lengthy debate about privacy concerns that the cameras raise. Senators went back and forth, looking for a balance between police transparency and privacy.

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Bluffton Today - Apr 30, 2015

SC bill would ease PTSD compensation for first responders

COLUMBIA — Amid concerns of opening a Pandora’s Box of compensation claims, a bipartisan group of South Carolina senators is pushing to extend workers’ compensation to first responders diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. “If you believe PTSD is real, then we need to be properly taking care of those that are taking care of us,” said Sen. Paul Thurmond, R- Charleston, lead sponsor of the bill, S. 429.

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ABC NEWS 4 - Apr 16, 2015

First responders plead their case to lawmakers for PTSD coverage bill

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- Lawmakers in Columbia spent part of Wednesday discussing a bill that would cover PTSD assistance for law enforcement officers that stems from last September's shooting of sheriff's deputy Joe Matuskovic.

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The State - Apr 15, 2015

Bill ordering body cameras for S.C. officers advances

COLUMBIA, SC - A bill that would require body cameras for all South Carolina police officers was passed unanimously out of an S.C. senate subcommittee Wednesday morning. The bill is now headed to the full judiciary committee for another hearing next Tuesday. Police body cameras typically capture both audio and video.

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Post and Courier - Apr 12, 2015

Legislative halftime report: Third and long with little time on the clock

Mug shots. Being arrested shouldn’t mean a lifetime of having your mug shot on the Internet, unless you are willing to pay a ransom. That was the intent behind a bill that would require online “extortion” sites to remove mug shots by request if someone is found innocent or charges are dropped. That straight-forward proposition got caught up in a First Amendment fight when Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston, pushed for language that would make news outlets take mug shots off their websites, as well. Newspapers and the South Carolina Press Association, of which The Post and Courier is a member, fought it as unconstitutional, and Thurmond deleted what senators had called a “poison pill.” The full Senate hasn’t yet debated the bill, but a similar provision passed unanimously last year before the House declined to take it up. At least nine states have enacted similar laws.

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The Times and Democrat - Apr 4, 2015

1st Amendment guarantees must be protected

S. 255 was under consideration by the Judiciary Committee, a bill aimed at websites that publish photographs of people charged with crimes and then charge hundreds of dollars to individuals who subsequently want their images removed from the website, whether the person is guilty or not. As noted by S.C. Press Association Executive Director Bill Rogers, the sites are committing extortion and should be stopped. But Republican Sen. Paul Thurmond wanted the bill to go further, requiring newspapers and other media websites to remove information.

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AARP - Apr 1, 2015

Optional Electronic Monitoring Bill Discussed

Adults who reside in nursing facilities are usually in very poor health; they are often unable to care for themselves and to protect themselves from harm. Family members or caretakers sometimes suspect mistreatment when they begin noticing unexplainable bruises or missing personal items. To address these concerns, AARP South Carolina supports the use of video technology for the purpose of surveillance, documentation of care, and virtual visitation. “This technology should be allowed only when protections are in place to ensure that it does not infringe on roommates’ right to privacy,” says AARP’s Coretta Bedsole.

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The State - Mar 25, 2015

Video cameras in nursing home rooms: Reassuring or intrusive?

Placing a video camera in a nursing home room could help track the care given family members, but 24-hour-a-day surveillance also brings up loads of privacy and legal concerns. The Senate medical affairs subcommittee voted Wednesday to adjourn debate on what some refer to as the grannycam bill, giving the bill’s advocates more time to address those concerns. The discussion before that vote set up an intriguing battle between advocates for the aged and disabled and lobbyists for the nursing home industry, which employs about 18,000 people in the state.

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Post and Courier - Mar 24, 2015

Mug shot ‘extortion’ bill headed to S.C. Senate floor without media ‘poison pill’

COLUMBIA — News media will be exempted from a bill aimed at cracking down on online mug shot “extortion” after the S.C. Press Association said it raised constitutional issues. The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston, is intended to stop “extortion” by websites that post booking photos in bulk and charge people hundreds of dollars to take them down — guilty or innocent. The bill, which requires those sites to pull photos free of charge, was approved unanimously Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, sending it to the floor of the state Senate.

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Post and Courier - Mar 17, 2015

Mug shot ‘extortion’ bill still snagged on First Amendment debate

COLUMBIA – Negotiations over a bill that would make websites take down mug shots when defendants aren’t found guilty remain snagged on an exemption for newspapers and TV stations. A vote on the proposal was delayed Tuesday amid the debate. It is expected in the Senate Judiciary Committee next week. Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston, has said his proposal is aimed at websites like Mugshots.com that post booking photos and charge hundreds of dollars to remove them, guilty or innocent, a practice he calls “extortion.” But he and the South Carolina Press Association disagree on whether the requirement should apply to the news media.

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Post and Courier - Mar 11, 2015

Mug shot 'extortion' bill in SC Senate setting up First Amendment fight

COLUMBIA – A bill aimed at protecting innocent people from mug shot “extortion” is shaping up to be a First Amendment fight. Lawmakers led by Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston, are working on legislation that would require websites take down booking photos if the people aren’t found guilty. Some sites charge hundreds of dollars to do so, guilty or innocent, a practice Thurmond calls “extortion.”

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Greenville Online - Mar 10, 2015

Senate panel agrees on 20-cent increase in gas tax

COLUMBIA – A Senate panel looking at road funding has agreed to increase the state's fuel tax by 20 cents over five years and to index it for inflation. The move came after Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Larry Grooms told the panel that the state's highway commission has said the state needs $1.4 billion more a year to bring the state's roads and bridges to good condition.

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The State - Mar 02, 2015

Senate looks for its own plan for more money for SC roads

As the S.C. House prepares to begin debating how to raise more money to maintain and repair state roads, several other plans are being discussed by a special Senate committee. While two bills in the House look to raise about $400 million more for roads a year, the Senate appears to want to direct a larger amount to roads. The Senate also appears less interested than the House and Gov. Nikki Haley in changing the way the South Carolina Department of Transportation operates. In a report last year, the Transportation Department estimated it needed more than $1 billion extra to get the state’s roads and bridges to good condition. A special Senate committee is reviewing six bills with four different plans to increase road revenue.

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Post and Courier - Feb 24, 2015

State to close North Charleston prison in move to save money, boost security

A North Charleston prison facility that had paired inmates with jobs in the community for four decades and provided crews to clean litter from Lowcountry roadsides will shut down April 1 in what state officials said Tuesday was a plan to save money and boost safety elsewhere. Most of the 39 employees, including 28 uniformed officers, at the minimum-security Coastal Pre-Release Center will be relocated to help ease overcrowding at MacDougall Correctional Institution in Ridgeville, according to a statement from the S.C. Department of Corrections. No jobs are expected to be cut, and the state has no plans to close its three other pre-release facilities statewide, a prisons spokeswoman said.

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Post and Courier - Feb 17, 2015

S.C. Senate bill takes aim at online mug shot ‘extortion’

COLUMBIA — A bill aimed at websites that post mug shots and charge people hundreds of dollars to take them down even if they’re innocent has passed its first test in the state Senate.

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ABCNEWS4 - Feb 9, 2015

In the line of fire: 'I haven't put on a bulletproof vest since,' Ackerman says

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – A classroom at the Charleston County Sheriff's Office seats about 30 people, but on a brisk February day there are only two men – a teacher and a student. One of the men, Deputy Michael Ackerman, is teaching the art of detail and how to translate a scene in the real world to the black and white of paper and pen.

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Post and Courier - Jan 15, 2015

South Carolina Legislature kicks off with new leadership, weighty matters

It was a busy first day in Columbia, with the House and Senate both under new leadership. Not much lawmaking took place, though several committees from each chamber met to discuss looming issues, including criminal domestic violence and ethics.

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Post and Courier - Nov 29, 2014

Paul Thurmond filming his own history of his senator father

Facing a lunchtime audience of West Ashley Rotarians, Nancy Thurmond told the story of how President Richard Nixon telephoned her husband, U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, on an August morning in 1974.

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Post and Courier - May 19, 2014

Ill-timed Senate pay hike

Just when you thought the state Senate had exhibited a sense of restraint by rejecting a backdoor pay hike last Tuesday, a majority of senators actually reversed that decision late the following day. Maybe better sense will prevail when House conferees from the House take up the budget with their Senate counterparts later this month.

Under the budget revision approved by the Senate, 25-20, legislators would see their so-called in-district expense checks double from $12,000 to $24,000 a year. That's in addition to their $10,400 salaries, generous retirement benefits (which some members enjoy even as they serve in the Legislature) and per diem.

Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston, on Tuesday argued persuasively against the proposal, which was quietly inserted as a budget proviso during committee deliberations. And the pay hike was then defeated.

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SFGate - May 13

SC senators remove pay raise to themselves

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina senators have removed a pay raise for lawmakers from their budget plan and given the money to local governments instead.

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The State - May 12

Scoppe: Bad Senate deal on texting can produce good law

COLUMBIA, SC — ON A BUSY day last month that muted the media coverage, the Senate for the first time ever passed a bill to restrict using a cell phone while driving.

Now, in a twist not often seen around the State House, the House needs to fix the bill.

The reason the overwhelming majority in the Senate was able to overcome a handful of libertarian obstructionists and get the bill passed was that it does less than it seems. Or perhaps more — in a bad way.

In return for instituting a statewide ban, it would wipe off the books several local bans on texting while driving that have higher penalties and lower restrictions on enforcement.

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Bluffton Today - April 8

S.C. targets online mugshot profiteers

COLUMBIA — Following the state of Georgia’s lead, South Carolina lawmakers are trying to help people who were arrested but not convicted.

A Senate panel on Tuesday approved a bill introduced by Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston, that would prevent commercial websites from profiting from mugshots.

“What’s happening now is some of these sites, they put your mugshots up, and you're found not guilty, they want to charge you a couple hundred dollars to take your picture off the website,” said Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg.

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SENATE INFORMATION

About the South Carolina Senate 

The legislative power of the State of South Carolina is vested in a bicameral General Assembly comprised of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate consists of 46 members who are elected from single member districts of approximately 87,200 citizens. Senators must be citizens of the United States and the State of South Carolina, at least 25 years old at the time of their election, and residents of the district in which they are elected. Senators serve four year terms. The political make up of the current Senate is 28 Republicans and 18 Democrats.  Visit the SC Statehouse website here >

Visiting the State House

The State House is located at 1100 Gervais Street, which is at the intersection of Gervais and Main Streets, Columbia, South Carolina. Guided tours are available Monday through Friday free-of-charge. Each tour is preceded with the viewing of a 15 minute DVD on the history and architecture of the State House. Reservations for groups are recommended. Once a reservation is made, the tour office will send an information packet which includes information on parking. Typically, parking is allowed along Sumter Street for school buses and vans. Private vehicles must use metered spaces near the State House. For more information or to schedule a guided tour, call the Tour Office at (803) 734-2430. Read more here 

SC Senate Calendar 

Click here for the Senate calendar on the SC State House website

 

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